Businesses still have some hard choices to make regarding cutting costs and improving efficiencies. A disruptive 2020 still has many companies struggling to survive, reexamining operations that no longer make fiscal sense. One such area is outsourcing printing for billing and mission-critical customer communications.

Shifting to an outsourcing model provides a host of benefits. In this post, you’ll learn how to reduce costs, improve accuracy and compliance, and boost customer engagement.

Outsourcing Printing Reduces Cost in Many Ways

Handling all your printing for bills and customer letters is a massive drain on your budget. The costs to maintain an in-plant operation aren’t just those you can visibly see, like the equipment and materials. There’s the labor expense to operate the in-plant, plus all the fees of the space—rent, energy bills, upkeep, and security, to name a few.

You also can’t reduce your cost of goods based on scale because you’ll never run the volume that a professional printer does. Your printed communications output is likely decreasing since many consumers are adopting online delivery. Further, if operations halt for any reason, you’re still paying for it.

These costs are compounding and trending up, which is not what your CFO wants to see. Moving expensive equipment from your balance sheet and reducing the cost per piece will be very attractive.

Transitioning to outsourcing eliminates many costs and minimizes your financial exposure. Companies that specialize in this have higher volume, so the cost of goods (COGs) is less. They can also negotiate better postal rates because of this volume. With the money you save, you can reallocate it to other areas of your business to generate revenue and profit growth.

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Outsourcing Printing Improves Accuracy and Compliance

You read that right—an experienced critical communications partner is likely to be more accurate than your in-plant. How can that be? A comparison is a good way to substantiate this claim. Do you currently know your error rate? If you aren’t tracking this metric, it’s hard to know how accurate and compliant you are.

Errors sit in several buckets. They include:

  • Mailing the wrong communication to a customer, which could expose sensitive information.
  • Bad addresses.
  • Noncompliant communications that don’t follow updated regulations (i.e., healthcare, financial, utility, ARM, etc.)

Inaccuracies such as these are not small. They could lead to litigation, regulatory fines, and a damaged reputation. You can avoid this risk by outsourcing with a provider that uses proven processes, such as address management, on-staff compliance officers, and technology to prevent mis-mailings. You’ll also no longer be liable for compliance-related SLAs (service level agreements); your vendor will take over this liability.

Outsourcing Printing Boosts Customer Engagement

Your printed communications are a perfect opportunity to engage with customers. First, the design absolutely matters. If yours is dated, ugly, or colorless, your customers won’t pay it much attention. Alternatively, if they are appealing in color and design, you could see increased engagement. Some outcomes could include more on-time payments as well as upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

You can even measure these KPIs (key performance indicators). For on-time payments, start with a baseline before you outsource and redesign, then look at what happens after implementation. For upselling and cross-selling, include specific phone numbers, URLs, or email addresses specific to those communications. If you see activity through these, you can directly attribute it to your improved designs.

Second, you have many more personalization opportunities when you outsource. They can appear directly on the bill, not as inserts, which typically end up in the recycling bin. Based on your data, you can customize messaging to customer segments, such as promoting services they don’t subscribe to yet.

New Year, New Strategies

As you assess and evaluate ways to cut costs, improve efficiencies, and reduce risk, one of the first places you should look at is outsourcing customer communications. Move this burden off your plate and your balance sheet by adopting outsourcing. Learn more about how PCI Group delivers this service with precision.